Friday, December 5, 2008

Under-Cover Male Organs, Naked Women Everywhere, and Wife Sharing

Oops! The cheerleaders sexting post is at this link. The post below is about other issues with naked women.

Suszanne Reisman has quite the hot post going at Blogher with the title "Why are Women's Bodies Public Domain?" If you read the beginning of the post, you might think it's all about women's restrooms and kids, but by the second paragraph, the astute reader knows there's more afoot.
A few years ago, as I waited in line for a stall in a public bathroom, a mother came in with her young son. No big deal; this happens all the time. However, I was beyond dismayed when my turn came and the kid stuck his head under my stall door while I used the toilet.

His mom immeidately [sic] yelled at him to get back over to the sink so she could wash his hands, and a thought process unfurled itself in my head: Perhaps one of the reasons that women's bodies are always on display Western culture while men's are private and guarded fiercely has as much to do with childhood as it does with the patriarchal sexualization of the female figure. (SR)
I'm not going to tell you more than that because I believe you'd benefit from reading her post and associated comments. The discussion's quite lively and provocative. Here's part of one of my comments on the post:
As I read this excellent post, Suzanne, I recalled an article I read back in the 80s in Omni Magazine, don't know if it's still around, that society is so conditioned to viewing women as sex objects that it's not uncommon for young girls to feel aroused not by male bodies but by female bodies because that's the body promoted as sexy and sexual. The female body is the one associated with sex.

... As I write I'm considering your thoughts on the female body being everywhere in various states of undress.

I've noticed that sometimes in movies a woman's body may be completely exposed, but the male body is never seen in that same movie below the waist, and so I've wondered, as you have in this post, is there something that we're supposed to think is traumatizing about seeing male genitalia?

What we see instead is the undercover penis, phallic symbols everywhere, the assertion of male power through subliminal messaging perhaps.

Ooh, let me stop. (VP at BlogHer)
One of BlogHer's male members also joined the discussion and he's holding his own, trying to explain the facts of life to us women about men, the female form, and the quest for equality:
Natural Selection

Women's bodies have to be "promoted as sexy and sexual", because that's how men choose women for dating. I've never heard any guy EVER say that he selected a woman to be his girlfriend SPECIFICALLY because she was so physically unattractive to him. :)

What I'm "enjoying" about this conversation is that the 'facts' behind this phenomenon are so deeply ingrained that I can't find the right words to explain it to y'all. :D It's like trying to explain to you how I breathe. I don't know. I just breathe. I don't TRY to breathe.

If you look at prostitution, there's a booming industry for women to receive money for having sex with men. There's almost ZERO industry for men to receive money for having sex with women. Explain that. :)

You just can't find equality in every single aspect of life.

~ Bill
I blog at (Bill's comment)
Yes, well, I know that, sir, how men have trouble getting their minds off the female form even when it's adequately concealed. I once met a man for serious business only to discover he did not pay attention to anything I said because he was preoccupied with cup size beneath my business jacket. Uh, he finally blurted to my dismay, "What are you hiding beneath that jacket?" Unfortunately, his focus on boobs made him unsuitable to the purpose of the meeting.

jason mamoa of stargate atlantis Still, I think it's possible for men to turn that biology off when they need to, such as for business. Perhaps younger men have more difficulty stopping their sexual thoughts, but stopping is not an impossible feat.

Women commenting on Suzanne's post also talk about the safety of women's restrooms and their children, fear of male "predators" and "weirdos," and how "the female body is designed to be shared."

The last bit about sharing the female body is not what it sounds like; nevertheless, I recalled the only culture I know of where one wife is shared by men. A man having more than one wife, I knew of, but not what goes on in the town of Himachal Pradesh, India.
They practice what is known as fraternal polyandry -- where the brothers of one family marry the same woman. Why? Tradition and economics. (CNN)
The video accompanying the piece on wife-sharing brothers with Sara Sidner reporting is intriguing:

One husband is enough trouble for me, but two might make life interesting.

Finally, in case you're wondering about the picture of the beautiful male body I've placed in this post, I believe in equal opportunity when it comes to showing the human physique. Consequently, I added a photo of Jason Mamoa, the actor and fine male specimen who plays Ronon Dex on Stargate Atlantis. Jason is also a writer and artist, according to his bio, and while he is too young for me, he's always easy on the eyes.

This is NaBloPoMo day five.

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